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A. M. 2888. A. C. 1116; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4301, A. C. 1110. I SAM. I. TO THE END. his face, and David ran up to him, and with the giant's | contracted the tenderest and most endearing friendship sword cut off his head ; a at the sight of which the Phi- with him, which lasted as long as they two lived together; listines' army fled, and were pursued by the Hebrews as but in their return home from this expedition, one thing far as the gates of Ekron with a very great slaughter. happened which occasioned Saul's jealousy. Among
When Saul saw David marching against the Philis- the crowds that came out to meet them, and to grace tines, he inquired of Abner, who he was ? which Abner their triumph, there was a chorus of women, d who sung could not resolve him; but upon his return from victory, to the musical instruments upon which they played, a introduced him to the king, with the champion's head in certain song, whose chief burden was, “ Saul has slain his hand. The king received him with the highest his thousands, and e David his ten thousands ;' which so applauses; and upon his inquiry, David informed him, enraged Saul against David, that from that time he that he was the son of Jesse the Bethlemite. Every never looked on him with a gracious eye. For though one entertained indeed a high conception for the he thought proper to retain him in his service, and, for author of so great an action, but none expressed so the present, conferred upon him some command in the entire a satisfaction as did Jonathan, who, being him- arny; yet the reward for his killing Goliath, which was self a prince of extraordinary bravery, was so taken with to be the marriage of his eldest daughter, he deprived bis courage and conduct in this engagement that he c him of by giving her to another.
When Saul returned to his own house, the same spirit supposing that David levelled his stone so right, as to hit the of melancholy came upon him as before; and while David place which was left open for his adversary's oyes, or threw it was touching his harp before him as usual, in order to with such a violent force, as would penetrate both helmet and alleviate his malady, the outrageous king threw a javelin head together. To make these suppositions more probable, we
at him with such fury, as would certainly have destroyed need only remember what we read in Judges xx, 16., of no less than seven hundred men in one place, who were so expert svith him, had not providence turned it aside. Hereupon their left hands, that every one could sling stones to a hair- David thought proper to withdraw; yet Saul would still breadth, and not miss; or what we read in Diodorus Siculus, b. continue him in his service, to have the more opportu5., of some slingers, who threw stones with such violence that nities against his life. nothing could resist their impression; and that when they made use of lead instead of stone, the very lead would melt in the air
It happened, too, that by this time his second daughter, as it flew, by reason of the rapidity of the motion which they whose name was Michal, had entertained kind thoughts gave it.-—(Patrick's and Calmet's Commentaries.)—“The arms of David, which her father was not unconscious of; and which the Achrans chiefly used were slings. They were trained therefore he signified to him, that upon condition he to the art from their infancy, by slinging from a great distance would kill him an hundred Philistines, (but not without at a circular mark of a moderate circumference. By long practice they took so nice an aim, that they were sure to hit their some hopes of himself falling in the attempt,) he should enemies not only on the head, but on any part of the face they have the honour to become the king's son-in-law. David chose. Their slings were of a different kind from the Balea- accepted the condition, though he could not but perceive rians, whom they far surpassed iu dexterity.”—Polybius, p. the latent malice of it; and taking some choice men 125.-ED.
a 1 Sarn. xvii. 51. Niebuhr presents us with a very similar along with him, invaded the Philistines, slew double the scene in his Description of Arabia, p. 263, where the son of an number of them, and for a testimony thereof, & sent their Arab chief kills his father's enemy and rival, and according to the custom of the Arabs, cuts off his head, and carries it in triumph to his father. In a note he adds, cutting off the head assistance and defence, to their very death, and of kindness to of a slain enemy, and carrying it in triumph, is an ancient cus
their posterity, even after either of them should be dead. Jonatom. Xenophon remarks that it was practised by the Chalybes, than, in particular, through the whole story, shows towards (h. iv.) Herodotus attributes it to the Scythians, (b. iv. c.
David such a greatness of soul, such a constancy of mind, and 60.)–ED.
disinterestedness of heart, as few romances can produce examples 6 The text says, (1 Sam. xviii, 3, 4.) Then Jonathan and of.-Calmet's and Patrick's Commentaries. David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
d 1 Sam. xviii. 6. The dancing and playing on instruments And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, of music before persons of distinction, when they pass near the and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword and dwelling places of such as are engaged in country business, still
continues in the east. to his bow, and to his girdle.' It was anciently a custom to
This was practised by some persons in make such military presents as these to brave adventurers. compliment to the Bar Du Tott. He says, (Memoirs, part Besides the present instance of the kind, two others may be 4. p. 131), “I took care to cover my escort with my small quoted: the first is from Homer.
troop of Europeans, and we continued to march on in this order,
which had no very hostile appearance, when we perceived a mo* Next him Ulysses took a shining sword, A bow and quiver, with bright arrows stored;
tion in the enemy's camp, from which several of the Turcomen A well proved casque, with leather braces bound,
advanced to meet us: and I soon had the musicians of the dis(Thy gift, Meriones,) his temples crown'd."
ferent hordes playing and dancing before me, all the time we II. x. 37. Pope.
were passing by the side of their camp."—Harmer, vol. 3. p. The other is from Virgil, in the story of Nisus and Euryalus.
292.- ED. Nor did his eye less longingly behold
e Namely, in his killing Goliath; for all the conquest gained The girdle belt, with pails of burnish'd gold;
afterwards was no more than the consequence of his death. This present Cadicus the rich bestow'd
f This was a high affront to David, and one of the greatest Ou Romulus, when friendship first they vow'd,
injuries that could be done him; however, for the present, he And absent, join'd in hospitable ties:
thought proper to dissemble it. How Jonathan resented this He dying, to his heir bequeath'd the prize ;
usage, we are nowhere told. It is likely, that his duty to his Till by his cougʻring Ardean troops oppressid,
father made him prevail with David to take it patiently, as He fell, and they the glorious gift possessed."- Æn. b. 9.-ED.
coming from a man who was sometimes beside himself, and knew c Plutarch, in his book On Intense Friendship, makes mention not well what he did: and that David might be the more inof several great men such as Theseus and Pirithous; Achilles clinable to do this, as having some intimations given him of the and Patroclus; Orestes and Pylades ; Pythias and Damon, &c., good esteem which the second daughter began to entertain of who were joined together in the yoke of friendship, as he calls it: him.- Patrick's Commentury. but none of these were comparable to what we read of Jonathan g The reason why Saul exacted the foreskins of David was, and David, who entered inio the most sacred bonds of mutual to prevent all cheat or collusion in the matter, and that he might
A. M. 2888. A. C. 1116; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4301. A. C. 1110. I SAM. I. TO THE END. foreskins, according to covenant, to the king; so that, | Thither the king sent his guards, as soon as it was light, all things being thus gallantly accomplished, and in so to apprehend him; but by the contrivance of his wife public a manner, the king could not refuse him his Michal, who let him down from a window, he made his daughter, but at the same time laid many other schemes escape, and by the benefit of a dark night, came to his to take away his life.
old friend Samuel at Ramah, to whom he told all his Nay, to such desperate lengths did his jealousy run complaints, and with whom, for the better security of him, that he, casting off all disguise, a commanded his his person, he went to Najoh, which was a school or son Jonathan, and some of the principal men of his college of the prophets, and there dwelt. court, at any rate to despatch David; which Jonathan It was not long before Saul had intelligence of his all along took care to acquaint him with, and at the abode, and d sent a party of soldiers to apprehend him; same time, advised him to provide himself with some but they, upon their arrival at the place, where they place of safe retreat, until he should have an opportu- found Samuel teaching and instructing the younger nity of b expostulating the matter with his father ; which prophets, were seized with a prophetic spirit, and reaccordingly he did, and with so good success, that his turned not again. After these, he sent fresh messengers, father was, seemingly at least, reconciled to David; and after them others again; but no sooner were they and Jonathan next day introduced him into his presence : come within the verge of the place, but they all began but the increase of David's fame, upon several defeats to be affected in like manner. Saul at length, impatient given the Philistines, still renewing and increasing of these delays, went himself; but as he drew near to Saul's jealousy, would not suffer this reconciliation to Najoh, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, so that he last long. Saul was taken with another fit of phrenzy, went along e prophesying, until he came to the place and David was desired to play to him: but while he was where Samuel and David were, and there f stripping employed in tuning his harp, the other took an opportunity, as he had done before, of darting a javelin at c When these schools of the prophets were at first instituted him, which David, having a watchful eye upon him, is nowhere indicated in Scripture: but, as the first mention we nimbly declined, and so retired to his own house. find of them is in Samuel's time, we can hardly suppose, that
they were much prior to it. It may be presumed, therefore, that
the sad degeneracy of the priesthood, at first occasioned the instibe sure they were Philistines only whom he killed. Had he tution of these places, for the better education of those that were demanded the heads only of so many men, David he might to succeed in the sacred ministry, whether as prophets or priests. think, might perhaps cut off those of his own subjects, and bring According to the places that are specified in Scripture, (1 Sam. them instead of the Philistines; but now, the Philistines being x. 5, 10, and xix. 20; 2 Kings ij. 5., iv. 38. and xxii. 14.) the only neighbouring people who were uncircumcised, (for the they were first erected in the cities of the Levites, which, for Arabians, as descended from Ishmael, and all the other nations the more convenient instruction of the people, were dispersed up which sprung from Esau, were circumcised, as well as the He- and down in the several tribes of Israel. In these places the brews,) in producing their foreskins there could be no deception. prophets had convenient colleges built, whereof Najoh seems to Besides that, this would be a gross insult upon the Philistines be one, for their abode; and living in communities, had some in general, to whom Saul was desirous to make David as odious one of distinguished note, very probably by divine election, set as possible, that, at one time or other, he might fall into their over them to be their head or president. Here it was, that they hands, Calmet's Commentary.
studied the law, and learned to expound the several precepts of it. a It is strange, that Saul should speak to Jonathan to murder Here it was, that, by previous exercise, they qualified themselves David, if he knew the friendship he had for him; and he could for the reception of the spirit of prophecy, whenever it should not be ignorant of it, since, in 1 Sam. xviji. 3, 4., he had made please God to send it upon them. Here it was, that they were so public a declaration of it. But he imagined, perhaps, that instructed in the sacred art of psalmody, or, as the Scripture calls his love to a father would overcome his love to a friend ; and, it, (1 Chron, xxv. 1, 7.) in prophesying with harps, with psaltaking an estimate from himself, might think it no mean incite- teries, and cymbals.' And hence it was, that when any blessings ment to his son, that David was going to deprive not only the were to be promised, judgments denounced, or extraordinary father of the present possession, but the son likewise of the right events predicted, the messengers were generally chosen; so that of succession to the throne of Israel. But whatever Saul's these colleges were seminaries of divine knowledge, and nursereasons might be for desiring Jonathan's assistance in so vile a ries of that race of prophets which succeeded from Samuel to fact, it is plain that there was a peculiar providence of God in the time of Malachi.-Stillingfleet's Orig. Sacræ; W'keatly e his disclosing himself so freely on this head, since thereby David the Schools of the Prophets; and Jacob abting, de Repub. came to a right information of his dangerPatrick's Com- Heb. mentary.
d Such was Saul's implacable hatred to David, that it had 6 The speech which Josephus puts in Jonathan's mouth upon abolished, not only all respect and reverence to Samuel, under this occasion, is expressed in these terms:--"You have con- / whose protection David then was, but all regard likewise to the ceived, Sir, a terrible displeasure against this young man, and college of the prophets, which in those days had obtained the given orders for his death; but upon what provocation, or for privilege of a sanctuary.- Patrick's Commentary, and Gratiwa what fault, great or little, I cannot apprehend. He is a person on the Law of War and Peace, b. 3. c. 11. to whom we stand indebted for our safety, and the destruction of e This is a word of an extensive signification, and may denote the Philistines; for vindicating the honour of our nation from sometimes such actions, motions, and distortions, as prophets
, the scandal of a forty days' affront, in the challenge of a giant, in their inspiration, are wont to express “ Things dubius, whom not a creature, but this innocent youth, had a heart to while led on in an inspired course; for when the spirit is present encounter; a person who purchased my sister for his wife at in the heart, man becomes frantic;” (Sen. in Medea:) which, your own price ; and, in fine, a person entitled to your esteem perhaps, may be very justly applied to Saul upon this occasicu. and tenderness, both as a brave man, and a member of your own But the generality of interpreters, in this place, take 'prophesyfamily. Be pleased to consider, then, what injury you do your ing' to signify Saul's singing of psalms, or hymns of thanksgiving own daughter, in making her feel the mortification of being a and praise, which even against his will he was compelled to de, widow, before she enjoys the blessing of being a mother. Be to teach him the vanity of his designs against David, and that pleased to remember who it was that cured you of your dark in them he fought against God himself.- Calmet's Commentery melancholic fits, and by that means laid an obligation upon the on 1 Sam. xviii
. 10; and Poole's Annotations on xix. 23. whole family; and who it was that, next under God, delivered f The words in our translation are, · And he stripped off his us from our implacalıle enemies. These, Sir, are benefits never clothes also, and lay down naked, all that day, and all that night. to be forgotten, without the infamy of the blackest ingratitude.” (1 Sam. xix. 24.) In which words, and some other portions of --Jewish intiquitis, b. 6. c. 13.
the like import, we are not to imagine that the persons there
A. M. 2888. A. C. 1116 ; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4301. A. C. 1110. I SAM. I. TO THE END. himself of his upper garments, he lay, as it were in an , Saul returned from Naioth to celebrate ; but as he obecstasy, almost naked on the ground, all that day and served that © David's seat at the table had for two days the next night.
been empty, he inquired of Jonathan e what was become David took this opportunity to make a private visit to of the son of Jesse, as he called him in contempt. Johis friend Jonathan, with whom he expostulated his nathan told him that he had given him leave to go to an father's unkindness, which the other could no ways ex- anniversary feast of his family at Bethlehem ; whereupon cuse, only he assured him of his best a offices; that he Saul, suspecting very probably the reality of his answer, would make what discovery he could of bis father's fell into a passion with his son, and upbraided him with designs against him, and not fail to acquaint him with his friendship for David, which, as he told him, would them. In the mean time he renewed the league of prove fatal to himself, and injurious to his succession; friendship that was between them, and directed him and therefore he commanded him to produce him ; for where to conceal himself for a day or two, until he could resolved he was, that this rival of theirs should die. learn, whether it was proper for him to appear or no; Jonathan was going to interpose something in vindicawhich he was to signify to him by his shooting some tion of his friend, and the unreasonableness of his father's arrows, in such a manner as they concluded on, and so indignation against him, which provoked his father to mutually embracing, they parted,
such a degree, that, forgetting all ties of paternal love, The feast of the new-moon was now come, which e he threw a javelin at him with an intent to kill him. f
to Juno, to whom sacrifices, at this time, were offered.—Calmet's spoken of were entirely naked, but only that they were divested Commentary. 1 Sam. xx. 5. “[As soon as the new-moon was of some external habit or other, which, upon certain occasions, either consecrated or appointed to be observed, notice was given by they might lay aside. For, whereas it is said of some prophets, the Sanhedrim to the rest of the nation, what day had been fixed (Is. xx. 2. and Mic. i. 8.) that they went about naked, we can for the new-moon, or first day of the month, because that was to hardiy think that they could be guilty of so much indecency, be the rule and measure, according to which they were obliged and especially by the express order of God, who had always testi- to keep their feasts and fasts in every month respectively. This fied his abhorrence of nudity, and enjoined his priests the use of notice was given to them in time of peace, by firing beacons several garments to cover the body, that thus they might be dis- set up for that purpose, (which was looked upon as the readiest tinguished from the pagan priests, who were not ashamed way of communication,) but in time of war, when all places were appear naked. The words in the original, therefore, which we full of enemies, who made use of beacons to amuse our nation render naked,' or 'to be naked,' signify no more, than either with, it was thought fit to discontinue it, and to delegate some to have part of the body uncovered, or to be without a gown or men on purpose to go and signify it to as many as they possibly upper garment, which the Romans called toga, and, according to could reach, before the time commanded for the observation of the custom of the eastern people, was wont to be put on when the feast or fast was expired.”]-Lewis' Rites and Ceremonies of they went abroad, or made any public appearance. And there the Jews, p. 25.—ED. fore it was some such vestment as this, or perhaps his military c That sitting at table was an ancienter custom than either accoutrements, which Saul, upon this occasion, put off; and that lying or leaning at meat, is obvious from this passage. The this was enough to denominate him naked, is manifest from what Égyptians, when they ate at Joseph's entertainment, sat at table, Aurelius Victor, speaking of those who were sent to Lucius and so did the Hebrews. Homer always introduces his heroes Quintus Cincinnatus, to bring him to the senate to be made in this posture; and that this was the known custom among the dictator, says, That they found him naked, ploughiog on the ancient people of Italy, Virgil, in these words, testifies: “Our other side of Tiber; whereas Livy, who relates the same story, ancestors were always accustomed to sit at their meals."—Æneid. observes that he called to his wife Rucca for his gown, or toga, 7. It is not to be dissembled, however, that very early, and that he might appear fit to keep them company.-Essay towards even in the times of Saul, the use of table beds, or beds to lie or a Neto Translation.
lean upon at meals, had obtained among the Jews, for when the a The speech which Josephus puts in Jonathan's mouth, upon witch of Endor, with much entreaty, prevailed with Saul to take this occasion is very tender and pathetic:-"That God, who a little refreshment, it is said, that he arose from the earth, and fills and governs the universe, and knows the thoughts of my sat upon the bed,' i Sam, xxviji. 23.-Calmet's Commentary. heart in the very conception of them; that God," says he, " be d It may seem a little strange, that Saul, who had so often witness to the faith that is vowed and promised betwixt us; that endeavoured to kill David, and was now just returned from an I will never give over searching into, and sifting the private expedition undertaken against his life, should ever expect to see deliberations and purposes of my father, till I have discovered him at his table any more. But he might think, perhaps, that the bottom of his heart, and whether there be any secret rancour David was inclinable to overlook all that had passed, as the in his thoughts, or not, that may work to your prejudice. And effect of his frenzy and melancholy; that now he had been proif I shall be able to make any thing out at last, whether it be phesying at Naioth, he was returned to a sound mind, and befor or against you, it shall be the first thing I do to give you in- come a new man; and that, because after the first javelin darted formation of it. The Searcher of hearts will bear me witness at him, David had ventured into his presence again, he might, that this is true, and that I have ever made it my earnest prayer for the future, be guilty of the like indiscretion.— Calmet's Comto Almighty God, to bless and prosper you in your person and mentary, designs, and you may assure yourself, that he will be as gracious e If it be asked, how it came to pass that Saul always had a to you for the future, as he has been hitherto, and lay all your javelin or spear in readiness as on this and other occasions, to enemies at your feet. In the mean while, pray, be sure to keep execute his evil purposes? The answer is, that spears were the these things in memory, and when I am gone, to take care of sceptres of those ages, which kings always carried in their hands. my poor children.— Jewish Antiquities, b. 6. c. 14.
That they always carried the sceptres in their hands appears 6 The Jewish months were lunar, and never began before the from Homer, and that these sceptres were spears is evident from moon appeared above the horizon; for which purpose there were Justin, (b. 23. c. 3.) where speaking of the first age of the Rocertain persons placed upon the mountains, some time before mans, which Dr Patrick thinks was about the age of Saul, he the new-moon was expected, to give notice by the sound of an tells us that as yet, in these times, kings had spears as ensigns horn, when it first appeared, that so the news thereof might im- of royalty, which the Greeks called sceptres.— The Life of David, mediately be carried to Jerusalem. But lest there should be by the Author of Revelation Examined. any mistake in this method of making their observation, from f 1 Sam. xx. 30. • Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman.' this example of Saul's, it is supposed, that they celebrated this In the east, when they are angry with a person, they abuse and festival for two days together. Whether the heathens had this vilify his parents. Saul thought of nothing but venting his rite from the Jews or not, it is certain, that other nations had anger against Jonathan, nor had any design to reproach his wife feasts at the beginning of every month, and that, with the Ro- personally: the mention of her was only a vehicle by which, acmars, the calends in particular were festival days, consecrated (cording to oriental modes, he was to convey his resentment
A. M. 2888. A. C. 1116; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4301. A. C. 1110. I SAM. I. TO THE END. But he avoided the blow, and retired ;. and the next | Abimelech, that he was sent by the king upon e a busimorning went into the fields, under pretence of shooting ness of such despatch that he had time neither to take arms with his bow and arrows, to give David the signal. To nor provision with him; and therefore obtained of the hiin he communicated all that had passed between his high priest d Goliath's sword, which had been deposited father and him; that his father was implacable, and de- in the tabernacle, and some of the show-bread, which termined to destroy him, and therefore he advi him the day before had been taken off from the golden table, to escape for his life : and so, having made new pro- and with these he proceeded to Gath, as not thinking testations to each other of perpetual friendship, they himself safe in any part of Saul's dominions. embraced and parted.
He had not been long in Gath, however, before he Ever after this David was banished from court, and was discovered, and the king informed of his being that lived in the nature of an outlaw. The first place that great man of war in Israel, who had so often defeated he betook himself to was a Nob, where stood the taber- and destroyed the Philistines ; so that, to get clear of nacle at that time, and where 6 Abimelech was high this information, he was forced to counterfeit madness, e priest; but as he had no attendants, he pretended to and an epilepsy, which he did so artfully, that by this
means he evaded the suspicion of the king, and made against Jonathan into the minds of those about him. (Harmer, bis escape to s Adullam, a town in the tribe of Judah, vol. ii
. p. 492.) An instance of the prevalence of the same prin- where his brethren and relations, together with mauy ciple in Africa, which induced Saul thus to express himself to malcontents, and men of desperate fortunes, met him, Jonathan, occurs in the travels of Mungo Park. Maternal af- and made up a little army of about 400 in number. 5 fection is everywhere conspicuous among the Africans, and creates a correspondent return of tenderness in the child. Strike me, said my attendant, but do not curse my mother. The same c It must be owned, that David, in this pretence, did not sentiment, I found universally to prevail, and observed in all speak direct truth, nor are we from hence to take an example parts of Africa, that the greatest affiont which could be offered for speaking lies; but one thing may be said in his excuse, that to a negro, was to reflect on her who gave him birth."— Travels, as he saw Doeg there, who he knew would inform Saul of what
had passed between him and Ahimelech, his pretence of business a There is mention made of two cities of this name, one on was on purpose to furnish the high priest, if he were called to the east, or further side, and the other on the west or hither side an account, with a better apology for his reception of David, of Jordan. The generality of interpreters will have the city since he knew no other, but that he came express from the king: here specified to be that which stood on the west side, and in and accordingly we may observe, that Abimelech insists on that the tribe of Benjamin. Though it is not reckoned among the chiefly. It is a melancholy consideration, however, that the number of the cities that were at first assigned to the priests, wickedness of the world should be such, as to put even excellent yet that it afterwards became one of the sacerdotal towns, and men sometimes on the necessity of lying to preserve their lives, especially as we may imagine, when the tabernacle came to be which cannot be safe without it.- Patrick's Commentary. moved thither, is evident from 1 Sam. xxii. 19. and Neh. d It was an ancient custom not only among the Jews, but the xi. 32. and some sappose it stood about four leagues from Gi-heathens likewise, to hang up the arms that were taken from beah.-Calmet's Commentary; and Wells' Geography of the their enemies in their temples ; and in conformity thereunto, Old Testament, vol. 3.
the sword wherewith he cut off Goliath's head David dedicated b The words of our blessed Saviour, in Mark ii. 25. are these, to the Lord, and delivered to the priest, to be kept as a monu• Have you never read what David did, when he had need, and ment of his victory, and of the Israelites' deliverance. And as was an hungered, he and they that were with him, how he went it was customary to hang up arms in the temples, so when the into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, occasions of the state required it, it was no unusual thing to and did eat the shew-bread, and gave also to them that were with take them down, and employ them in the public service; from him ?' Now there are two things which the author of this book whence came that saying of Seneca, “ Even temples are some of Samuel asserts, quite contrary to what our Saviour declares, times stripped bare for the sake of the state." --Calmet's Como namely, 1st, That · David was alone, and no man with him,'mentary. ch. xxxi, 1. and 2dly, that Ahimelech was at that time high e David is not the only instance of this kind. Among the priest; whereas our Saviour affirms, both that David had com- easterns, Baihasus the Arabian, surnamed Naama, had several pany along with him, and that Abiathar was then in the ponti- of his brethren killed, whose death he wanted to revenge. In ficate. Now, 1st, that David had company with him, and that order to it he feigned himself mad, till at length he found an Ahimelech knew it, is evident from his words in the fourth opportunity of executing his intended revenge, by killing all who verse: “There is no common bread in my hand, but there is had a share in the murder of his brethren.
Among the Greeks, hallowed bread, if the young men have kept themselves at least Ulysses is said to have counterfeited madness, to prevent bis from women;' and therefore Ahimelech's meaning must be, that going to the Trojan war. Solon also, the great Athenian lawDavid had no guards to attend him, as it was usual for persons of giver, practised the same deceit, and by appearing in the dres his quality to have; or at least those that were with him might be and with the air of a madman, and singing a song to the Atheordered to keep at a distance, and so Ahimelech when he uttered nians, carried his point, and got the law repealed that prohibited, these words, might not see them, though, when he came into a under the penalty of death, any application to the people for the closer conference with David, David might inform him, what recovery of Salamis.— Plut. Vit. Solon. p. 82; Chandler's Life retinue he had brought, and consequently that all the show-bread of David, vol. i. p. 102. note, was no more than what they wanted for their present support. f It was a town in the tribe of Judah, of some considerable 2dly, Though it be granted that the name of high priest, in its note in the days of Eusebius, and about ten miles froro Elexstrictest sense, did not at this time belong to Abiathar, yet since theropolis eastward, where there was a rock of the same name, it is generally agreed, that he was the sagan, as the Jews of in which was a cave, naturally strong and well fortified, to which latter days call him, who is the high priest's vicar, he might David retreated; as indeed most of the mountains of Palestine well enough, in a qualified sense, be called the high priest; espe were full of caverns, whither the country people generally betouk cially considering his immediate succession to his father and themselves for safety in time of war.- Calmets and Patrick's how short his father's continuance in the office was, after this Commentaries; Wells' Geography of the Old Testament, vol. 2. interview with David. Nor can we see any great impropriety g It appears to have been usual in ancient times for such perin saying, that such a thing was done in the days of "Abiathar sons as are described in this passage, to devote themselves to the the high priest, though done somewhat before he was invested perpetual service of some great man. The Gauls in particular with that dignity, any more than in saying, that such things are remarkable for this practice. The common people
, who are happened in the days of Henry VIII., which strictly came to generally oppressed with debt, heavy tributes, or, the exactics pass some days before he began to reign.---Patrick's Com- of their superiors, make themselves vassals to the great, who mentary.
exercise over them the same jurisdiction as masters do over
A. M. 2888. A. C. 1116; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4301. A. C. 1110. 1 SAM. i. TO THE END. After his family had thus joined him, he could not but who had been their accuser, at the king's command, be apprehensive that the wrath of Saul would fall upon became their executioner, and with his sacrilegious hand, his aged parents, and therefore his next care was to slew no less than d eighty-five of them. Nor did Saul's provide them with a safe retreat ; which he did by putting bloody resentment stop here : e for, sending a party to both himself and them under the protection of the king Nob, he commanded them to kill man, woman, and of Moab, who was then at enmity with Saul. And with child, and even every living creature ; so that of all his parents he thus continued, until the prophet Gad, the children of Abimelech, none escaped but Abiathar, who attended him, advised him to leave Moab, and to as we said before, who came to David, and told him the return into the land of Judah ; which accordingly he did, dismal tidings of this massacre, which David could not and took up his station in the a forest of Hareth, where but sadly condole, and in some measure look upon himAbiathar the priest came to him, and upon this sad self as the innocent occasion of it. However he gave occasion, brought along with him all the pontifical Abiathar assurances of his protection, that he should ornaments.
share the same fate with him; and that, with his own life, During David's short stay at Nob, Doeg the king's he would shield him from all danger. principal herdsman, was there, and upon his return to While Saul was embruing his hands in the innocent court, gave Saul information of all that had passed be- blood of his subjects, David was employing his arms in tween the high priest Ahimelech, and David. Hereupon the necessary defence of his country ; for, hearing that Saul sent for Ahimelech, and the rest of the priests, and the Philistines had made an incursion upon Keilah, a having accused them of a conspiracy, and traitorous city of Judah, f he went and relieved the place, repulsed practices against him, 6 notwithstanding all the high the enemy with a great loss of men, and took from them priest could say in vindication of himself and his a considerable booty of cattle. Saul had soon intellibrethren, he commanded them to be put to death. His gence of this action; and supposing that David would guards, who stood by, and beard Ahimelech's defence, now fortify himself in this stronghold, he sent an army would ngo undertake so barbarous an office;
to invest it: but David having consulted the divine ora
cle upon this emergency, found that the inhabitants of slaves.' — Cæsar's Commentaries of his Wars in Gaul, b. vi. c.
the place would prove perfidious to him, and therefore 13.-ED..
he left them, and retired into a wood in the 8 deserts of a Both St Jerome and Eusebius make mention of a place of Ziph, whither Saul, for want of intelligence, could not this name in the tribe of Judah, lying westward of Jerusalem; of which Rabbi Solomon, upon the credit of some ancient tradition, says, that being before dry, barren, and impassable, upon was much the same thing as to betray all divine and human David's coming, it became fruitful and irriguous, and that, in rights, merely to please a tyrant.-Le Clerc's Commentary. the 23d psalm, where he considers God as his shepherd, who See Josephus's Jewish Antiq., b. 6. c. 14., who has, upon this would lead him into fruitful pastures, and under his protection, occasion, a curious descant about the use of power in kings, when keep bim safe in the most dangerous scenes, he alludes to this: at once from a low, they come to be exalted to a high station • He shall feed me in a green pasture, and lead me forth by the in life. waters of comfort:' for surely it is impossible but that this, which d The Septuagint, as well as the Syrian version, makes the was before a barren desert, might now, by a singular blessing number of priests slain by Doeg to be 305, and Josephus 385, from God upon the industry of David and his companions, be- which is a large variation from the Hebrew text. - Millar's Hiscome a green and well-watered pasture.-Wells' Geography of tory of the Church. the Old Testament, vol. 3.; and the History of David, by the e This party, as Josephus informs us, was commanded by quthor of Revelation Examined.
Doeg, the vile informer and murderer, who taking some men 6 The speech which Josephus draws up for the high priest as wicked as himself to his assistance slew in all 385 persons, upon this occasion is directed to Saul, and conceived in these and in addition to these, it is thought by some, that the Gibewords: “I did not receive David as your majesty's enemy, but onites, (upon whose account there was so sore a famine in the as the faithfulest of your friends and officers, and, what is more, days of David) who might now be at Nob, in attendance upon in the quality of your son too, and a relation in so tender a de- the priests, were at this time slain. It is certain, Saul was now gree of affinity and alliance. For how should any body imagine become a mere tyrant, and against those poor people acted more that man to be your enemy, upon whom you have conferred so cruelly than he did against the Amalekites, some of whom he many honours ? Or why should not I rather presume such a spared, even contrary to God's command; but in this case he let person, without any further inquiry, to be your singular friend? none escape, on purpose to deter others from giving the least He told me, that he was sent in haste by yourself, upon earnest shelter or assistance to David, and to incite them the rather to business, and if I had not supplied him with what he wanted, it come and give him information wherever his haunts or lurking would have reflected an indignity upon yourself, rather than upon places were.-Josephus' Antiq., b. 6. c. 14. him. Wherefore, I hope, that the blame will not fall upon me, If We read of no embassy, that the people of Keilah sent to even though David should be found as culpable as you suspect David, to desire his assistance, nor of any particular affection him; unless an act of pure commission and humanity, abstracted they had for him; and therefore we may suppose, that David unfrom the least thought, knowledge, or imagination of any evil dertook this expedition out of pure love to his countrymen, to let intention, shall be understood to make me privy to a conspiracy: the world see, how serviceable he could be to them, in case he for the service I did him, was matter of respect to the king's was restored to his dignity again, and that, what ill treatment son-in-law, and the king's military officer, not to the person or soever he should meet with from the hand of Saul, nothing interest of David."-Jewish Antiquities, b. 6. c. 14.
should provoke him to abandon his love for his country-Le c In this they were to be commended: but much more praise Clerc's Commentary. they would have deserved, if they had offered up their petitions g In Josh. xv, 55. we read of a town of this name where menfor these innocent people; if they had remonstrated to the king, tion is likewise made of Carmel, and Maon, and therefore it prothat he was going to commit a thing that was contrary to all laws bably was adjacent to them. And here, in the story of David, both divine and human; and if, when they saw that neither their we find Carmel and Maon mentioned as adjoining to Ziph; so reasons nor petitions availed, they had looked upon this order as that it is not to be doubted but that by the Ziph in the wilderness, the effect of one of the king's distracted fits, and accordingly where David now concealed himself, we are to understand the seized and secured him, until the priests had made their escape, Ziph which was in the neighbourhood of Carmel and Maon, in and he returned to a better mind. For to stand wringing their the southern part of the tribe of Judah, and, according to St Jehands, while they saw so many innocent creatures murdered, rome, about eight miles eastward from Hebron,- Wells' Geoand foreiga soldier's made the instruments of the king's cruelty, graphy of the Old Testament, vol. 3.